It was the Half Pint Garden herb-growing kit that caught my eye. Simple, fun and wrapped in a pretty striped milk-carton-like package, it was the perfect way to brighten up my balcony. As I’m short on time, space and expertise (I’m more yellow- than green-fingered), it seemed a good gardening starting point.
Nowadays more of us would like to try and “grow our own”, though where and how is often an issue for city dwellers. For those who have a city-central pied à terre that could do with a touch of greenery (or simply some herbs), The Balcony Gardener website offers fertile opportunities for those who have but a windowsill, balcony or roof terrace.
The website takes the grubbiness out of gardening with its stock of caringly planted ready-made containers that can be delivered straight to your door. There are four styles of ready-mades available, among them The Edible Garden (from £69.95), a selection of herbs in containers that range from a modest window box to a range of pots and planters containing herbs such as rosemary, marjoram, tarragon and mint; and The Contemporary Urban Garden (from £85), which is a mixture of architectural planting that includes seasonal plants and shrubs. All ready-mades just require a little water and food and they should thrive.
The website features all the gardening and outdoor essentials that you can think of, from the necessary containers (particularly attractive ones include the blue Belgian jars, £65, and wire cube planter with slates, £45.95) to floral deck chairs (£72) and bistro-style table and chairs (pictured, from £120) as well as pocket pruners (£12.95), seeds (from £3.25) and garden twine (£3.50), with the Happy Lantern (£20) and a table-top barbecue (£18.50) for an after-(non-)gardening party.
The aforementioned Half Pint Garden (a herb-growing kit, £10.95) is now flourishing beautifully on a sunny windowsill at home, and come this spring my terrace should be good enough to eat.